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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched all previous "superceding" posts, but found the level of discussion above my beginning knowledge.

Installed my first package April 27th. Bees are building beautiful straight comb. When I checked today: May 19th-there were 6 combs-2 completely empty, only 1 comb with a small patch of capped brood and 2 combs partly filled with nectar and capped honey and 3 to 4 queen cells halfway built on 2 combs. They look like superceding cells and not swarm cells because they are in the middle of the comb about half-way up. A friend and I searched for the queen but couldn't find her. Yet, there is evidence she was there.

What now?

Thank-you
 

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I'd wait. One of my packages did exactly the same thing, but they appear to have torn down those three nice cells and the original queen kept laying, since a couple weeks later there was plenty of capped brood, far too fast for a new queen to have emerged and mated.

It's not unusual for a package to get confused and start supercedure cells, the ages of the bees are not typical for a swarm and they don't have the normal amount of open and capped brood for a mixed hive. Remember that packages are made up of bees shaken into boxes from working hives, and the bees are not prepared to swarm as they would normally be if they had left a hive on their own.

That said, it's possible they will still supercede the queen later on. Another of my packages that is at my brother's place, started on a large collection of drawn comb with stores from a deadout, has just superceded the queen and has quit feeding her. No eggs, no open brood, but a couple nice queen cells started with curled larvae in them on Sunday, which means they are probably six days old, maybe five. He added a frame of emerging brood from the other package hive he has, which is going strong. Should be OK in a few weeks, although they will miss the main honey flow as a result.

I expect that you will find quite a bit of capped brood in there in a couple weeks.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. You'll see from the questions below, how naive I am.

A deadout?

What is a mixed hive?
Age not typical for a swarm? Do you mean the age in the new hive?

Do you know it's an emerging brood from the days they've been capped? Emerging brood specifically means?

I will check in another week.
 

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Dead out = Winter kill out. Bees didn't make it through the winter.
Mixed Hive = Bees and brood of all ages, from foragers down to eggs.
Age of Hive = Typically package hives or nuc's are considered 1st year hives and normally don't swarm. However if the queen goes bad they DO and WILL supersede her.
Emerging brood = Brood that is ready to break out of the cells. If you watch a frame of brood that is capped you can see sometimes as they start to chew their way out. This is emerging brood.

Based upon your statements above in your post, you say there is evidence the queen was there. Are you speaking of EGGS? That is the ONLY true way to know the queen was recently there within the past 3 days. If you seen very young larva it could have been 4 days or longer since she was in there.

Wait 1 week and go back and give it a good check. If the queen was gone, you will see new one by then most likely with those queen cells you found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for taking the time to explain the terms and conditions. I appreciate it immensely.
I didn't see eggs--only capped brood, so I can assume she has been missing for at least 3 days?

I'll take your advice and check on Monday 26th. I'll add an update to this thread in case of interest.
 

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Patricia if you only seen capped brood, that means that you have NO queen. Finding signs of queen being in hive means to find eggs/small larva. When you only see capped brood it means the queen has completely quit laying or she is gone. Capped brood is a minimum of 8 days since being layed as an egg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would you order a new queen or let the supercedure cells develop with the hope of letting one of those cells be the new queen of the hive?
 

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The girls know how to deal with things like this. I would personally let them do their thing and let one of the supercedure queens take the nest over. She'll fly out once she emerges in a few days and mate up, come home and start laying like crazy. I've got two hives that i started with nothing but bees, brood, and eggs. They have both queened up and are starting to lay good now.
 

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>They look like superceding cells and not swarm cells because they are in the middle of the comb about half-way up.

Assuming the brood nest isn't getting backfilled with nectar, I would assume they are supersedure cells because the colony is not yet established. I wouldn't worry about where the cells are. I would let them supersede.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#swarmcellsonbottom
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you.

Would you mind explaining the connection to >Assuming the brood nest isn't getting backfilled with nectar...?
 

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>Would you mind explaining the connection to >Assuming the brood nest isn't getting backfilled with nectar...?

People with new packages often feed them until the broodnest is backfilled and the hive swarms with very few bees... assuming that isn't happening, then I would assume they are supersedure cells. Look at the brood comb where the workers are emerging and see if they are getting filled with nectar/syrup.
 
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